Nearly a quarter-century ago, in 1987, a curious book with a curious title appeared. Its author was little known except to fans of British literary fiction. But that would soon change, for The Songlines
quickly climbed high on the bestseller list, leaving Bruce Chatwin to enjoy a brief burst of the fame he had long craved.
Ostensibly a kind of travel book, with quaffs of philosophy, memoir and anthropology, and positioned as nonfiction, The Songlines was eventually revealed to have been a carefully constructed work of fiction—not a hoax, exactly, but not quite as represented. In the aftermath, Chatwin ...
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